To report a Communicable Disease, contact the MCRHC at 732 493-9520 (8:30 am - 4: 30 pm weekdays) after hours please call the same number and ask our answering service to contact the Health Officer,David A. Henry
Reporting Requirements

To report a Communicable Disease, contact the MCRHC at 732 493-9520 (8:30 am - 4: 30 pm weekdays) after hours please call the same number and ask our answering service to contact the Health Officer,David A. Henry
Reporting Requirements

  

 

PUBLIC HEALTH QUESTION OF THE MONTH

Presented By
Monmouth County Regional Health Commission  No. 1

September 2017

 

What steps should I take if I find a bat in my house?

Answer:

  1. Do not touch the bat or attempt to capture it yourself, and do not smash it in the head or otherwise make it unsuitable for testing)

  2. Immediately contact Animal Control or the Police Department. DO NOT open a window or otherwise release the bat from your home. All occupants in the room in which the bat is located should relocate to another room, and all doors to the room in which the bat is located should be closed in order to contain the bat until Animal Control arrives on scene.

  3. Animal Control should then safely capture or otherwise retrieve the bat. The Animal Control Officer will then consult with the Health Department to determine if rabies testing of the bat is necessary. Additional consultation with a physician may also be necessary. If the exposure was such that rabies post-exposure vaccination would be recommended, testing of the bat is the only definitive way to rule out such post-exposure vaccination necessity…a negative rabies examination result means no vaccinations are necessary. If the bat is not available for testing because it was released from the home, it cannot be tested and would have to be presumed positive for rabies.

*EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO NOTE*

Although rabies in humans is rare in the USA, and only a small number of bats are infected with the rabies virus, the most common source of rabies in the USA is from bats. In some of these cases, there was a history of a bat bite, but in the majority there was either contact with a bat with no report of bite, or an unknown nature of exposure. This suggests that limited contact with bats may result in rabies transmission, even without a definite bite history. The most likely scenario is that a person was bitten but was either unaware (a person was sleeping and did not know they were bitten, or a small child or incapacitated adult was bitten and was unable to notify a capable adult) or knew they were bitten but they failed to report the bite and seek the necessary post-exposure medical treatment.

 

Prior Monthly Questions